Recently Google debuted Google Home, their new hands-free assistant and competitor to Amazon Echo. Despite looking like a fancy air freshener, this new gadget promises to make life at home easier, with features like connected home device integration, YouTube access, music streaming from the likes of Spotify and Pandora, and even voice control on Netflix.
What’s not really getting talked about is how Google’s voice assistant chooses to respond to questions that you would typically search from a mobile phone or desktop computer. Search Engine Land shared an article and video of Danny Sullivan putting Google Home to the test. As it turns out, Google Home responds using featured snippets.
While featured snippets are nothing new to SEOs, they’re becoming even more critical to the success of your site’s content. It’s no secret that measuring the impact of having your content in a featured snippet is tough, as they don’t always lead to click-throughs and visits. Google’s AI voice assistant just made things even tougher. It’s my opinion that featured snippet content, whether read-aloud or not, should definitely count towards a natural search interaction, but I’m biased.
I’m sure many brands would jump at the chance to have their content shared through AI devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo. Our own John Greer previously wrote a post about optimizing for Amazon Echo search, if you need to brush up on how this could shape future digital marketing initiatives.
Picture this scenario – I just bought a pair of Beats wireless headphones but I’m unsure of how to pair them to my Bluetooth device. I’m in a rush opening the package and don’t care to look at the instructions so I ask my Google Home, “Ok Google, how do I pair Beats headphones?”
The question then becomes how does anyone even begin to measure that impact on their bottom line? It’s not like you can see “clicks” to your featured snippet content. Is an AI device reading out instructions on how to pair headphones any less valuable than a visit to the support section of Beats website? Will Google eventually start sharing when your website was used as an answer to a hands-free search? My guess is, in the short-term, no. However, as more and more of the digital world switches to hands free, there will be an inherent need to measure the results. Let’s be real, at the end of the day, everyone wants to know an ROI on their marketing efforts.